Half way there

Half way there

It’s hard to believe I’m already half way through this pregnancy. At first, the days seemed to drag on (24/7 nausea, excessive saliva production, and constant fatigue will do that). But for the last several weeks, time has just flown by. Before I know it, the holidays will be here and gone and the baby will be arriving.

I’m trying to savor the moment though, now that the majority of the nausea has subsided (thank you Diclegis!).

I’m starting to find it harder to do certain things, like bending over (squishes the baby) or squeezing through tight spaces (can’t suck this belly in). I’m also finding it a little harder to concentrate sometimes as Baby wiggles and kicks and flips around in my belly distracting me from whatever is at hand. For some reason, while I’m driving seems to be one of Baby’s favorite active times…

I’m savoring the feeling though, because it won’t always be like this. I want to be able to look back and say I enjoyed it while it lasted.

We’re working away at our pre-baby project list and planning our 5 year anniversary vacation to New England. Hard to believe it’s almost fall already. I’ve had the windows open the last few days and it’s been downright chilly when I go out to feed before dawn (48* this morning!). As a self-proclaimed lover of all things fall, I’m beyond excited for the change in weather. I even brought out the plaid and red boots.

Fall pregnancy

So here’s to enjoying a lovely fall, not being too busy, and prepping for the lovely little addition that will be joining us soon =).

Slowing

Slowing

I don’t know if it is just the season we are in, the circumstances of our lives that are beyond our control, or if it is the choices that we make. But one way or another, we are busy. Too busy.

It feels like in this modern age “business” is a badge of honor. “How are you?” someone asks at church on Sunday morning or in the grocery store aisle or wherever you happen to bump into each other. “Busy,” you say with a smile and a sigh.

Busy.

Maybe it’s the “protestant work ethic” (although I don’t think so), or a need to succeed, or that elusive “American dream.” I don’t know. But when it takes over a month to find an evening to have dinner with friends, something is off.

I have to remind myself sometimes that busy doesn’t equal productive. And productivity shouldn’t necessarily be our priority.

Yes, God created us to work and work to be a good thing, a gift! But work is not everything. Chores, errands, running around–that isn’t the mark of a good life.

I keep a schedule because it keeps me from going crazy and simultaneously guarantees (or at least helps) that all of our responsibilities will be met. But I never want to be chained to a schedule. I don’t want the calendar to rule our life. It should be a tool, nothing more. And if that means things need to be juggled and rearranged in order to make room for some good community time, so be it.

Is it naive of me to constantly think that the next season, the next step, the next year will be smoother, easier, simpler, slower? Probably.

If I can’t manage to simplify my life now, what on earth am I going to do as life compounds and grows?

While I cannot control or change many of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can work within those to make the best choices possible. And I think sometimes we let the rat race of American life determine those choices rather than wisdom. I’ve shared before how hard it is to find the balance, the rhythm.

Choices — hard choices — must be made. We chase after dreams (good dreams, God-inspired dreams) until we are exhausted. Maybe I need to lower my expectations, my standards. But I believe in excellence, so maybe I need to pare down the various things that require my time and energy. But where? Work is a must, marriage obviously requires effort, involvement in church is paramount, small group is one of our top priorities, animal care is necessary…

And so I return to my original place, tired and busy with nothing changed.

But God reminded me of something recently — it isn’t through my strength, but His.

This weekend, I’m going to start moving a little slower. I’m going to take time. I’m going to live.

Want to join me in slowing? I suggest watching Carl Honore’s Ted Talk for inspiration…

My December Goals

My December Goals

I know myself. And I know that unless I write them down, things just won’t happen. I’m not only a writer by trade, I’m also a writer by nature. (You would not believe the number of lists that I have, and you really can’t imagine the number of sticky notes currently surrounding both my home and office computers…)

So I decided to compile a list of goals for this month. These are in no particular order, although some are obviously a lot more important than others. I hope I’m able to complete them before the new year:

  • Make homemade soup (I don’t know why this appeals to me, I hate to cook. And after the first attempt, I will probably be over my desire for homemade soup…)
  • Wrap gifts early (I’m usually pretty good at this, but I still put it on the list, because I know how some years go…but I want to be able to enjoy the look of presents under the tree BEFORE Christmas Day when they all go away)
  • Research the 12 Days of Christmas (Husband and I are considering adding this to our repertoire of traditions)
  • Finish sewing curtains (I have several curtains that were purchased frugally, but have no backing to provide a layer of insulation in the winter, so I’m adding it myself.)
  • Make a gingerbread house (a new tradition Husband and I began the first Christmas we were dating =)
  • Take the light rail into Norfolk to visit “the big mall” and little shops before Christmas
  • Make Christmas cookies! (I might have to limit this, last year I made far too many for us to eat, I had too many to even give away!)
  • Take time to relax, read, and just enjoy (Reading list: Little Women and Miracle on 34th Street, which was a delightful find from a used book store in Norfolk)
  • Decorate carefully and joyfully
  • Streamline cleaning process on Saturdays (should it really take me 5-6 hours to clean my house?)
  • Finish my last graduate course well.
  • Attend yoga class at least once a week (it seems to be making a big difference in number of tension headaches I always get, so I’m definitely becoming a fan!)
  • Enjoy Christmas.